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  • Writer's pictureMegan Greenwald

You Aren't Who You Think.

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

My team would never admit this, but I’m positive that I annoyed the hEck out of them last week. I’ve shared before on here about how I deal with anxiety, or as Matt would word it, “I’m the most paranoid person he’s ever met”. I have continued to find freedom from my fears even since my last blog post about it, the Lord has carried me so far, but believe me when I tell you that it’s not all gone. I’m currently living in a foreign country, surrounded by people who don’t speak the same language as me, and doing life with eight other individuals who as of a month ago, I didn’t know from the man on the moon. For the first little while I was doing great, I was enjoying all of the “new”s that this opportunity handed me. For the first three weeks I was doing ministry and living with 17 other friends, sleeping in guest houses that were on sight at the ministry. We didn’t leave the campus very much at all, and when we did, the ministry’s bus would take us where we needed to go. I could probably count on one hand the number of times that I actually felt fearful during those three weeks, which is huge for me. Anddd in my defense, I think the fears that did come up were valid being that they where when we were walking down the streets and a dog would chase and lunge at us ready to attack (I def didn’t get my rabies vac), and when four of us were walking down a secluded driveway to find a “museum” which I’m pretty sure was nonexistent.

Upon arriving here in Cuidad Dario, though, the enemy totally found his way into life here and made me fearful for my life seriously all the time. We went from sleeping on site in guest houses and taking ministry busses wherever we went, to sleeping in tents that are a 20 minute walk from the ministry and transportation anywhere else is via a city bus, which is a school bus packed with maybe 200 people. My anxiety levels went through the roof, and if you don’t believe me ask my tent buddy, Alex, who was woken up nightly at 2 am for an entire week by me being too close to having a panic attack. Every single night I would wake up to a noise, whether it be wild horses trotting through the yard, our guard dog going stupid crazy or fireworks that sounded like gunshots, and I would absolutely freak out genuinely thinking that I wasn’t gong to make it through the night. I was petrified that we were going to get kidnapped, or if not that then robbed because we have been told that we have to move all of our things inside, including tents, every morning or else they will get stolen. The enemy had totally gotten into my mind and was placing worst case scenarios that were a complete fantasy in my head. One night I woke up to get some water and noticed two lights that seemed to be at the end of the driveway, so I stared them down for a while before finally getting so scared that I woke Alex up. She got her glasses to check things out for me, and the headlights that I swore were headed towards us to come take me away were definitely completely stationary.. street lights from town. This sounds comical I know, but the enemy has a way of making me believe things that I know sound ridiculous once they are spoken out loud. Sleeping wasn’t the only time that I was terrified, though. Last week I also found myself worried walking to and from ministry (the stares and cat calls from locals didn’t ease my fears any), and absolutely horrified while taking the city bus that I spoke of a minute ago to the next town over for adventure day. There are nowhere near 200 seats on the school bus and it stops probably every five minutes, so there is no picking and choosing where and by whom you would like to sit. At first our team was all standing together in the aisle but as people get off at their stops, the workers definitely (kinda) gently push you into the now open seat so that more people can be squeezed on the bus and refill the aisles. I thought I’d stretch my comfort zone a little (with the encouragement of my leader) so I sat by a local girl about my age when the seat became available. I was doing okay until more people piled on and there were now locals hovering over me cramming onto this bus. I freaked out and quickly relocated back to my group (they were only two rows back but it felt like they were in a different world lol). Ashamed to admit now, the missionary in Nicaragua to share Jesus ran from five different (probably harmless) locals on the hour bus ride. 

After a few days of living in this constant state of crippling fear, I was so over it. After all, the fact that I fear doesn’t mean that I want to fear. Contrary to what people that witness my anxiety may think, I actually do hate fear. It’s the stealer of joy, the thing that holds me back from being my true self, and is something that I often give the power to keep me from many God opportunities. I’m so ready to be over this thing, I want the Lord to renew my mind to the point where I have no fear even if my very life were to be taken. But that’s not my reality right now. I do fear, way more often than I’d like. I fail to trust the Lord sometimes and fear for my safety. I tend neglect the fact that the Lord says I am fearfully and wonderfully made and instead hold back from being my true self out of fear of what people may think of me.

I’m learning that the process is okay. & more than that, I’m learning that it’s hEcking awesome. I’m learning that though I have fear, I AM NOT FEAR. He’s showing me that what I do and how I feel is not always a depiction of who I am. Just when I get discouraged because I see everyone around me living their best, fearless life as I’m cowering in the corner, He whispers to me and tells me who He says that I am. He says that I am courageous, and it’s completely unrelient on what anyone else says and is utterly unaffected by what I do or don’t do. 

Your identity is found in who He says that you are. & part of your identity is what you aren’t even yet. Put differently, your identity through the process is already who He is calling you to be at the end of the journey. 

Though I am still working through fear, He calls me fearless. So thats who I am. 

Though you deal with depression, He says the joy of the Lord is your strength, and you can rest in what He says until you see it become manifest in your life.

Though you feel unloved in this season, He calls you loved and chosen, so that’s who you are.

Though you feel dirty, He calls you worthy, and that’s who you are.

Yes, work through the process of overcoming your struggles with the Lord, a million times yes. I have begun prophesying over myself as I am in moments of fear by singing “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God” out loud. Though I am fearful in the moment, once I start claiming that fear has no hold on me, it becomes my reality and I am able to sense the fear rolling right off of me. Resist the enemy and run towards the Truth. But while the enemy is attacking you, still remember that you aren’t what this world says that you are, or even who you feel like you are.

You are who He is calling you to be, and nothing else.

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